Zeta-Imperial Chemicals or for short Zeta-ImpChem or Z-IC, headquartered in Interlaken, Switzerland, is the second-largest European corporation, just behind Saeder-Krupp. The two corporations actually directly compete for the leading position in the chemical industry (the third rank is occupied by the AG Chemie Europa consortium, a partnership including subsidiaries of both Z-IC and S-K). Z-IC also possess significant holdings in medical services, microelectronics and food. Major subsidiaries include Alxon Pharma, EuroMedis, Hoechst-Aventis, Monomed, Natal, and (most recently) Nestlé.
Z-IC was formed from the merger of British ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) and the Swiss-based pharmaceutical companies Clariant-Syngenta and Ciba-Lonza. Under the hood, Z-IC is known as one of the most ruthless and ecologically dangerous corporations in Europe. It is constantly under fire from both business consortiums and eco-activists for its questionable ethics and business practices, and its past is littered with various scandals and takeover attempts. The most recent attempt was Transys Neuronet, but that takeover eventually fell through.
Z-IC’s primary shareholders include financial magnate Richard Bührle (12%) and chemist Bernard Gasser (37%).